What is a class action lawsuit?
A class action lawsuit involves a group of injured individuals (the “class”) that file together rather than sending separate suits for the same problem.
Treated as one plaintiff in much the same way a normal lawsuit might involve one party suing another, the class has a representative that stands in for the collective in the lawsuit. A class can be made up of hundreds, and even thousands, of people all claiming wrongdoings against another party.
I was involved in a crash with a semi-truck. Do I need representation?
Crashes involving 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, or tractor trailers are cases where it is very important to consult with an attorney immediately. The injuries can be severe. The trucking companies often have investigators and lawyers on the scene of a crash to begin to build their defense. Hiring an attorney immediately in order to preserve evidence, interview witnesses, and make sure you have the best shot at recovery is very important.
Attorneys at Nelson and Nelson have experience working cases involving catastrophic injuries, and even death, as a result of trucking or tractor-trailer crash. Several of our attorneys are members of the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys, a national organization dedicated to fighting for those injured in crashes with tractor trailer.
If you were involved in a crash with a semi-truck, tractor-trailer or 18-wheeler, please call our office immediately.Contact Us
What types of cases are appropriate for class action lawsuits?
Many cases involving consumer products are appropriate for class action lawsuits. Defective products and vehicle part malfunctions are examples of products that might be part of a class action suit because they often impact a large number of people. Even something as innocuous as inaccurate product labeling can lead to a class action suit.
Additionally, class action lawsuits can be submitted due to faulty services such as predatory lending practices, fraud in the securities industry, civil rights violations, and debt collection practices that go outside of the bounds of the law.
Who pays my medical bills if I’m hurt because of someone else’s negligence?
Your own health insurance. Generally, if you have health insurance, your own health insurance should pay the bills. People often believe that the negligent party should pay the medical bills, but sometimes determining liability and the ultimate recovery can take many months or even years. The medical bills should not be left outstanding or sent to collections in the meantime.
If your health insurance pays medical bills relating to someone else’s negligence, they will very often assert a lien on the claim against the other party and recover a large portion of what they’ve paid for the injuries. Sometimes your own medical insurance will refuse to pay for the medical bills if they think someone else is at fault. If this is happening to you, please call our office for a free consultation.
Med Pay through your auto insurance. Another potential source for payment of medical bills is an optional benefit through your own auto insurance called Med Pay. Med Pay is an amount of money that someone can access to help them pay for medical expenses while a case is pending. This is different from liability insurance. Your auto insurance provider will often place a lien on the file to be reimbursed for their Med Pay payments.
If you believe that your Med Pay should be helping to pay medical bills following a car crash, motorcycle crash, or pedestrian accident, please call our office for a free consultation.
The negligent party’s insurance. Ultimately, if your treatment is the result of another party’s negligence and they have liability insurance, their insurance company should be held liable for the cost of medical treatment. However, because sometimes it can take many months or even years to come to a resolution through the negligent party’s insurance carrier, it can often be helpful to have health insurance or Med Pay insurance cover the cost of the medical care. Both medical insurance and Med Pay insurance will often assert a lien against any recovery from the negligent party’s liability insurance.Contact Us
What is the class action process like?
In a class action lawsuit, either a class representative or a small group of people represent the collective group, or class, in the suit. These individuals participate in the litigation and trial. However, once the case is settled and the class wins, the settlement is distributed to all participants from the class.
Class action lawsuits may be filed in either a state or federal court. A federal court is more likely to have class action suits involving parties in more than one state. Once a case ends, the settlement amount is distributed to members in the class.
For instance, if a company has been overcharging for a service and the collective settlement is in the millions, those who were part of the class action suit receive a portion of that payout.
If the defendant continues to do harm to consumers—such as through inaccurate labeling; continued production of faulty products; or continuing to provide services that harm consumers in some way through overpayment, harassment, or other unlawful practices—then the class can ask the courts to intervene and stop the corporation from producing the faulty products or performing unlawful/harmful practices.
I was injured due to someone else’s negligence and was then unable to work. Will I get reimbursed for my lost wages?
If you are injured due to someone else’s negligence—such as a car crash, motorcycle crash, semi-truck crash, bicycle crash, or other injury—and are unable to work as a result, you may be entitled to recover your lost wages. If you have been unable to work following someone else’s negligence, please call our office for a free consultation.Contact Us
What requirements must be met for a case to become a class action lawsuit?
Many factors can impact if a case can be considered a class action lawsuit. One factor, numerosity, describes the idea that the lawsuit involves so many people that individual cases would be impractical compared to a class action.
Commonality is also a factor in class action lawsuits that describes the shared factual and legal claims that those in the class share. For example, product labeling defects which result in a consumer making a purchase of a product they otherwise would not have made, might be a common factual claim the members of a class action lawsuit share.
Typicality is also a factor related to commonality in that the claims are typical among members of the class. In the case of faulty labeling, as an example, if the typical complaint is against a food manufacturer that produced a product inconsistent with the product label, a class action lawsuit might be a legal means to an end for the collective group.
Do I need an attorney if I was severely injured in a traffic accident such as a motorcycle crash, car crash, semi-truck crash, or bicycle crash?
If you have had significant injuries following a crash, you will very likely need an attorney. Sometimes there are multiple potential insurance policies that may provide recovery. Consulting with an experienced attorney to help determine all liable parties is very important. An attorney can also help to make sure the medical bills are being paid and make sure that any liens on the claim are fairly satisfied.Contact Us
What is the appeals process like after a class action lawsuit ends?
Sometimes a corporation, or the class suing them, may file an appeal to a higher court because the outcome of the case was not favorable to them. Depending on the arguments made by the attorneys appealing the ruling, the Appellate court may agree with the lower court’s ruling or reopen the case.
If you believe you have been harmed by a company and want to start a class action lawsuit, contact our attorneys today!
I was injured in a motor vehicle accident, but the negligent party didn’t have insurance or had very little in liability coverage. Can I still recover for my injuries?
Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon situation. The best way to protect yourself from this situation is to make sure that you have adequate policy limits in Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist coverage. Both of those policy provisions can provide an avenue of recovery if you were injured and the at-fault party had little or no coverage. If you believe this applies to you, please call our office for a free consultation.Contact Us